I share Martin's concern, but with a view to making you think it through for yourself...
I do agree that it helps a mix to come together if you have some sort of concept, background, or guiding principle. For me, what that is changes from project to project.
When I first lift the faders I am trying to understand what the artist is trying to get across. Beauty? Aggression? Peacefulness? Chaos? Intimacy? Epic-ness? You just have to be open to what the music is telling you. 80% of the time I can get what I need within the first few minutes of listening, but sometimes it can be a struggle. Even if you feel you've grasped the idea it usually pays to talk to the artist to get their input. It's no good supporting, or enhancing the song's aggression, for example, if the artist wants that aspect to be understated.
Sometimes the guiding principle is of a very practical nature - if a 60s 'vibe' is called for, for example, that will dictate many of the mix decisions very directly - there's little point going for huge drums and a throbbing sub-bass. Other concepts, such as 'epic' may lead to pushing sounds away from the listener with EQ and suitable ambience. 'Intimate' will have you drying up sounds and pulling them forward... You get the idea. Every mix decision you make should support the concept - it really is that simple.
This is a hugely important subject, IMHO, and one I often cover in 1-2-1s. I find that some people just 'have it', whilst others can develop it with time, patience and examples to work with.
As to 'tricks'... Serve the music, not your desire for novelty. If you listen to the music and react to what it needs, *and* you understand your tools, then you will rarely tread precisely the same path twice. Don't go looking for 'tricks' and imposing these on music that doesn't need them - serve the music. If you get good enough at the job then you will learn to hear what is needed - the music *will* tell you if you let it.
Now please come back with your own thoughts on the subject...